MacRitchie Nature Walk

31 Jul 2020 – ‘Lokkee’ Pronounced Lucky!

Tue: grocery shopping@Tampines via Bedok-InterChange passing these colourful dessert places and still have not had the chance to taste any of them! The free shuttle are not only on time, but tend to be 5mins early as discovered last week&today.

This time round, started at IKEA, unlike last week when Giant took up all my energy&hands. Unfortunately IKEA is out of my favourite mustard-dill sauce, grønsakskaka (literally translated veggie-cake), and they do not have the rainbow bags.

Got this rack S$5 (50%discount probably a display piece but it works fine for me), also have been wanting it for a while. Decided to cross the road to Giant to get some grocery, etc, and finally broke down to buy one of these trolley-bags which I have been trying to do without, but S$10 is worth to give it a trial to see if it will serve its purpose&also to see how long it will last. Have been carry my weekly grocery in the backpack+shoulder-bag, but lately felt uncomfortable with all that baggage, especially when having company for a meal. Where Giant&IKEA are concerned, there is always something one needs there!

Wed: 0550hrs first #48bus to BkTimahRd changing to#980 arr 0645hrs@bus-stop51071/ThomsonRd just by the entrance to MacRitchie Reservoir main entrance. Trying to remember when was the last time here? and the only pix found are from the mid 1950s when this was one the places to bring overseas families&friends. Here with cousins LEUNG KahLing&her sister (I think?) from the maternal-side, the TSANGs. Peggy LEUNG, friend from childhood is distantly related by marriage – her father, Vincent LEUNG was from my mother’s bro-in-law side – complicated enough with the LAMs, not to start with the TSANGs!

Not being familiar here and still dark, followed the sign to the bandstand (that is the only landmark I can remember), thinking that it must be the main drag, and main drag it is for tourists, but it is not where we were to meet. Appreciations to Grace for her graciousness, backtracking (not a favourite move for some hikers!) to lead me onto the Nature Trail. 

This looks more like it – how relaxing walking on natural paths and so serene without many ppl due to the rains.

The ears feel good to hear the birds&cicadas again. The only wild-life that crossed my path was 3wild boars.

Continuing from VenusDrive crossing UpperThomsonRd to SimMIngAve/BrightHillDr where KongMengSanPhorKarkSee Monastery is located- the last time here was to listen to a talk by Ajahn Brahm (was&still am a fan of this English monk), and do not even remember when? must be over a decade ago?? An impressive monastery now  with the origins of a humble&modest traditional Chinese forest monastery in 1920-21.

Meddle not in the affairs of dragons,for you art crunchy and good with ketchup

We were about the only ppl here which is perfect for me – after some short quiet mediation moments, Grace continued on to the other sections of the PCN which I did in 2016, decided to backtrack to VenusDrive hoping to do the TreeTopWalk (bucket list) since in the area, but the deities&the sky told me otherwise. Now that I know how to get there, will have to be another walk. Today’s distance ~10km with all the backtracking, detours etc.

https://amylamsg.com/2016/03/21/park-connector-network/

Thu: running errands@PlazaSIN. Interesting presentations&tasty dinner@Lokkee (TungLok Group) – Awesome Flaming Pineapple, Braised beef served in a pineapple ON FIRE!

MapoTofu, ChineseChives+MatsutakeMushroom, MushuPork. Tkx Clement for this scrumptious dinner – a definite recommendation, will return to try more of these exciting dishes on their menu. 

https://www.lokkee.com.sg/wp-content/themes/lokkee/pdf/Ala-Carte-Menu.pdf?misc=20170420_045143

Fri: TGIF on this last Fri+last day in Jul and a public holiday in SIN. Selamat Hari Raya Haji to all Muslims reflecting on Ibrahim’s willingness to be obedient to Allah to sacrifice his own son Ishmael. Was planning for a late afternoon walk@MtFaber onwards (this section done a couple of times some years ago), but not meant to be. Split Ribena on the kitchen window’s curtains and had to get them down for the washing machine before they stain, also to discover that they need new hooks too. These 20yrs hooks have gone rusty.

Fri31Jul2020: WHO & WorldOmeter of COVID-19 deaths are as follow: 

SIN/pop 5.6+mil in an area of 721SqKm – 27
SC/USA/pop 5+mil in an area of 82, 932SqKm – 1,667
Norway/pop 5.3+mil in an area of 365,268SqKm – 255

Coney Island

27 Jul 2020 – North Eastern Riverine Loop

Sun: public transport starts later on Sun and would not have made it in time. 0615hrs cab from MarineCres-SengKangMRT (S$17) meeting 0700hrs with Grace&Ibrahim. From SengkangMRT station heading on foot towards SengKangRiversidePk to discover an impressive hospital (as long as I do not have to be there!) and a new temple in the midst of the HDBs on the way.

Was not even aware that there is a PunggolRiver and was pleasantly surprised by the flora&life there.

Punggol area, along sections of the NorthEasternRiverineLoop

Punggol-PC, flat hard concrete surface 

crossing SINC2C (will try this trail some other day)

looping around PunggolPont

towards Coney-Island

Finally stepping foot onto Coney-Island for the first time and on 2+km of softer grounds. Took the middle path, might do the whole island when time permits – but for now, another item on my bucket list to cross out!

Serene and tranquil – lovely nature, saw a few BuahCherry/Aratiles/Sarisa trees with flowers, so maybe a revisit when the cherries are ripe, ie if the birds do not get to them first!

https://amylamsg.com/2019/06/14/aratiles-sarisa/

Ten Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Coney Island Park

LorongHalusPC – passing by a bicycle parking surrounded by overgrown vegetation after lockdown. Lovely greenery with beautiful blooms and bird-watchers with $$$$cameras by the various coastal promenades, wetlands&waterways.

While Grace&Ibrahim took another path with 2km extra, I headed straight towards WaterwayPoint, meeting a resident crossing my path who was not the least bit bothered about being patriotic for the upcoming NationalDay!

There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people ― Howard Zinn

Never even knew of the existence of this mall, but a good place to stop for lunch – thought it was called PunggolMall, but knew I was at the correct location as PunggolMRT is here. Decided against the next sections which were back-tracking, or boring urban links. ~4+hrs walk of uncharted ~15+km for me today, the calf-muscles on both feet are not happy with 13km on hard concrete grounds. This too shall pass and will have to pass for tomorrow’s walk, but hopefully will be able to stand up on the 2feet to join the next walk!

I think self-discipline is something, it’s like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets – Daniel Goldstein

Mon: tkx to Alvin for an interview to his new KatongBook, looking forward to see it published. Have been wanting to try this CheeCheongFun (located@MarineTerraceMarket) made from scratch and it was a delight to taste such paper-thin, smooth&silky rice noddle roll – highly recommended. Also had a bowl of congee+condiments and that too, was good, will certainly return to this stall.

Epic Walk With Grace

25 Jul 2020 Park Connector Network

Fri: TGIF and with the hacking, drilling&renovation work ongoing until 11Aug, might as well try to join Grace’s walk tomorrow as the noise is giving me a headache. Running errands&collected CDCvouchers@MPCC on the way to PP. Pleased with those vouchers amounting to S$50 and used my first S$2@MP Market for ChickenRice topping S$1.50 in cash as no change will be given from those vouchers.

Could not resist this Kipling pack with 40%discount (S$83.40)@Isetan – only other Kipling is a wallet bought 20yrs ago when first returned to SIN and it is still in used. Also needed this light weight UV umbrella (also 40%discount S$29.00), the old one bought in Japan 10yrs ago gave up on me. Stocking up mozzie repellent from Watson’s to be prepared for the walk – an early night tonight to catch the first bus tomorrow 0545hrs connecting to the MRT.

 

Sat: The Epic SIN Walk with Grace (not just a person but also the adj for me in this case!) who walked the HKG 100k MacLehose Trail with me in Mar2012 (5days) and now, like many of us are stuck in SIN and unable to travel. Have been thinking about walking around the island when all the ParkConnectors/PCN are completed to connect around the whole island, but in the meanwhile, will attempt some of these PCN since Grace is doing the logistics for this 300km+ of the PCN. Oh well, time will show but definitely not pushing it and taking one day at a time. 

0545hrs – the first bus to catch the CircleLine from DakotaMRT arr KentRidgeMRT 0650hrs to meet with Grace, her parents (Mr&MrsGoh)+another Grace&Alyssa to walk towards KentRidgePk.

KentRidgePk – where there is even a mt-bike trail. 

Easier to get a shot of the habour side/towards the West on the path than with the sun right into the eyes on the CanophyWalk – view of the Interlace condos/ towards the East, to the city.

HortPark – Antigonon leptopus (common names: Coral Creeper, Chain of Love, Hearts on a Chain), a fast-growing climbing vine that holds via tendrils. MrsGoh told us that the delicate pink flowers can change colours, thus also gained the nick-name False-Heart here in SIN! Actually the flowers will turn dull pink&eventually brown as they age – but that happens to humans too!! Glad to see that OSSEA still has their plot here. Is this a Chameleon? and if it is, this reptile is the one who changes colour to fit into the surroundings, so how false can it be, especially when it was making eyes at me, hahaha.

AlexandraArch and down by the main AlexandraRd passing by GillmanBarracks. These fire-ants bite can really sting, memories from childhood days, amazing how they can get these leaf to stick together for their home.

Edited 31Jul: not sure who took the arch pix with Grace’s&my back?? – had to enlarge to realize that it was actually me and not due to bad eye-sight or imagination!

BerlayerCreek&BukitChermin Boardwalk to&from LabradorPk where the DragonTeethGate is located, but these cocks&their admiring flock of hens do not seemed to be bothered by any dragon or ppl. Oncosperma tigilarium/nibung, this fascinating tree with all the needles on the trunk is certainly not my choice of a climbing tree.

Passing by all these luxury condos and the old dry-dock, now another waterfront to more condos on TelokBlangahRd.

Beautiful flowers captured on the way.

KentRidge&Hort+LabradorPk ~10km/10,000steps according to Grace.

Seah-Im FoodCentre, do not even remember when I was last here! The Assam fish was delicious and the fresh lemon-sugarcane juice hit the spot. Was planning to take the group to MtFaber via TemenggongRd, but the sky opened up, so not meant to be. That section of the Southern Ridges (excluding LabradorPk) was done in 2008. Tkx to Grace, the whole of Southern Ridges including LabradorPk is now completed today.

https://amylamsg.com/2008/12/18/walk/

Distance changes utterly when you take the world on foot – Bill Bryson/Walk in the Woods

Dengue Fever 2020

23 Jul 2020 – Autophagy (pronounce otto-FAY-gee)

Tue: grocery day@Giant/Tampines. Just missed the 0945hrs free shutter from the front of BedokMall, but had good time for a cuppa@BedokInterchange HawkerCentre before the 1015hrs shutter – wow! this is a seldom time that you can get NasiLemak for $2.20. Was not hungry enough to try, perhaps another time.

The ppl at the bus-stop are waiting for other public buses, and if can help it, will stay stayed away from those kind of crowds. Good meeting point at Shopping With The Family – bronze&coloured urethane paint figures done by South Korean artist Kim GyungMin in 2013. Am impressed that these shuttles are so on-time and hardly any crowd, probably being still early!

Grocery total bill, after Senior% $3.39 was $109.57, including a PowerPac 0.6litres Slowcooker with a ceramic pot $19.90, and a stainless steel ZebraFood 10X3Carrier $25. Do have a carrier with 2tier, but wanted one with 3tier. Last time in this location was in Apr to stock up some of IKEA frozen foods, but this time round bought too much from Giant and not enough hands for carrying more. Will have to make another trip to IKEA before the month is over. 

Wed: learning something interesting – Autophagy pronounce otto-FAY-gee (or autophagocytosis) (from the Ancient Greek αὐτόφαγος autóphagos=self-devouring and κύτος kýtos=hollow) is the natural, regulated mechanism of the cell that removes unnecessary or disfunctional components. It allows the orderly degradation and recycling of cellular components.

https://www.thecut.com/2019/04/what-is-autophagy.html

Japanese cell biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2016 for his research on how cells recycle and renew their content, a process called autophagy. Fasting activates autophagy, which helps slow down the aging process and has a positive impact on cell renewal.

Today with 1,736 dengue-cases (19deaths), the highest number of weekly dengue cases ever recorded in SIN – not good on top 48,036 COVID-19 cases (27deaths). Was planning to walk the PathConnectorsNetwork/PCN (app 300k) with Grace, but with the uncut grass around those paths attracting even more mozzies, should not tempt fate! With pre-existing heart condition, might not survive another hospital trauma – PCN will have to wait, but too tempting, maybe will tempt fate! No mountains here to call me, but maybe the paths are calling me – itchy legs!!

https://www.nea.gov.sg/dengue-zika/dengue/dengue-cases

Is this too good to be for real? This mosquito&bug KillerBuzzBGone claims to do the job and is selling out according to a report in consumerreportstech.surge.sh (Sammy Holland/14Jul2020). If true, this is worth the investment for every home.

Thu: Happy Birthdays Lucas(12)&#5 in the US who is celebrating his last year with a single digit – pix from 2011, 2013, 2018&2020. Am glad that Target’s Antsy Pants Gym Balance Beam was delivered in time and enjoyed not just by the bday boy, but by all. Will not always physically be present to stand by my kids’&grandkids’ bdays but they will always be in my heart&thoughts, especially on their special days.

Lunched@AmoySt FoodCentre, where I can add all the condiments (ginger, fried-onions, spring-onions, pepper, sesame-oil, soya-sauce) I like to compliment this minced-pork congee. The only thing missing there was coriander. Used to frequent this food center when working@H&H/CecilSt many moons ago.

Dessert – KeyLimePie at my favourite PS Cafe@AnnSiangHill. This location somehow brings back memories from childhood days with a welcoming serene colonial-days ambiance. The fresh flowers are always tastefully arranged whenever I have been here. Today, a huge bouquet of Lobster-claws/Heliconia at the entrance to welcome the guests. Delicate wax-flower/Chamelaucium on every table and roses in the Ladies. Appreciations to DaisyLam for a lovely afternoon catching up with family updates.

A quick walk thru’ Chinatown to run some errands and to catch the bus – delighted to catch some of Yip YewChong new mural paintings. Has been a while since being away from the 4-walls for more than 9hrs (excluding the stays in hospitals!).

About Marriage

20 Jul 2020 – Kahlil Gibran

Sat: delicious dinner@Les&Ivy+family – a lively game of Scrabble for families who eat&play, together stay together and a perfect evening of laughters with good food, wines&durians. Kat&family are planning to return to NYC/USA next week.

Sun: to my first-born Linn and her husband Jeff – Happy 23rd Anniversary. Amazing that she can still fit into her wedding gown after 23yrs+5kids and surprisingly the gown survived the 2013 house-fire. Do remember getting the gown cleaned, boxing&sealing for storage after the wedding, seemed like another life time ago!

You were born together, and together you shall be forever more.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Yes, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of heaven dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but each one of you be alone– even as the strings of a lute are alone though the quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not in each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the Cyprus grow not in each other’s shadows – Kahlil Gibran, from The Prophet

Mon: having survived 7+decades on planet earth, this is a plea written 2decades ago, shared in 2009 and now is the time to re share this again – always Peace&Love.

Africans, Americans, Asians, Australians, Europeans and the rest of the world
Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and any other religious faiths
Women, men, bi, gays, heterosexuals, metrosexuals

Why segregate with labels Human Beings on Planet Earth
Confused by emotions of desire, lust, insecurities, power
Awakens with hopes of humble knowledge and wisdom

Dreams of dignity and grace
Some may not live up to expectations
May not be of expectations to others

Assumptions and expectations restrict communication
Sincere and true respect for differences
Is a journey to gracious acceptance

Life is a gift to be celebrated
Differences to be appreciated
Compassion to be achieved

Act with considerate awareness
With no premeditated cruelty, ill intentions or malice 

Actions, behaviors, thoughts, words
Body, verbal and written languages
In sync and harmony with Nature and Peace

Peace is Love and Love is Forgiveness
Best of luck to balancing this Gift of Life

Campers’ Corner

17 Jul 2020 – Marmot Sales

Tue: Happy Bastille Day to all celebrating. From Gloria in Paris: it was a wonderful parade today – though without the grandeur of the usual Champs Elysées spectacle. Very touching shoutout to the country’s medical personnel. One of my favourite downloaded pix for this day.

Wed: Campers’Corner to check out the sales. 40% off all Marmot brand is a good bargain but did not find my size for the pants. Instead got this HoudiniMessageCarrier (not on sale) to try out this Swedish brand. Nice to catch up the the CCcrew with popiah&rambutans from my neighbourhood – Aloha insulated-bag did a good job keeping the popiah warm.

Clement managed to get some good deals@the sales. Would have like to dined in LittleIndia for Indian food, but considering the present circumstances, decided to dine at this unusual name for Thai food@MackenzieRd. Tasty GreenCurry/chicken, Fried PorkBalls and TomYum Soup/seafood. Dessert@McD/Bugis for my favourite artificial-flavoured banana ice-cream now back again. Nice breezy evening walk.

Thu: what a fantastic summer project for #1-5 with mural paintings@their paternal grandmom’s house. Thanks to Cindy for the pix and how they have grown. #5 has stretched, #3&4 are now as tall as #1&2 who had foot surgery for a navicular stress fracture and had to have a screw put in her foot where the bone won’t heal, still on crutches – speedy recovery to her. It will be unlikely that a visit to the US this year will be possible and that means I will not see Jeff, #1, 3, 4&5 in 2020.

Today 12Auntie Winnie in HI/USA turns 92 and 2Sis-in-law, originally from KotaBahru/Malaysia is 81 and they both look well when I last saw them/2018&2020. Somebody is renovating in this block and the drilling&hacking are giving me such a headache – well 20yrs ago, some ppl would have felt the same when my unit was under renovation! Getting on the ear-phones on for more audio-books&movies is the solution unless I go away from these 4-walls, but not in the mood to be out.

Fri: last few days to pick up 2free masks – from today till 19Jul23.59hrs, residents of SIN can collect a free mask kit consisting of 2reusable white MaskSafe DET30 masks from vending machines in some bus interchanges and PlazaSIN. The machine facing OrchardRd was out of masks, had to get it at another machine at the side of the building – line was long, but orderly&moving fast, unless you get caught with ppl who do not know what they are doing!! Took the opportunity to pop into Diaso&ArtFriend where one can always find something one needs! ColdStorage for some more than the ordinary foods!!

Facial recognition software can pick out a person in a crowd, but the stupid vending machine can’t recognize my $bill with a bent corner…

Post Election

13 Jul 2020 – Done With Spring-Cleaning

Fri: GE day and public holiday for ppl to vote from 0800-2000hrs. Voters aged 65+ will be given 2hrs windows from 08.00-1200hrs, and may be accompanied by a household member. Seniors who are unable to vote during their allotted time slots in the morning can join priority queues at other times of the day. 

Due to the heightened safety measures, lines were long, thus having to extend the voting time to 2200hrs. Too tired to wait for the results and was in bed fast asleep before mid-night.

Sat: 96% voters in this 13th GE, polling time extended two more hours last night – GE is now over with People’s Action Party/PAP winning again the majority, and the opposition Worker’s Party/WP strengthening in some  GroupRepresentationConstituency/GRC.

https://www.straitstimes.com/multimedia/graphics/2020/07/singapore-general-election-ge2020-live-results/index.html

Winning or losing of the election is less important than strengthening the country – Indira Gandhi

No offence to anyone or any countries&parties, but a post-election joke to put a smile on your face regardless of who or which party you voted for. Would like to think that a balance of everything is the best way to go. There is a danger to lose balance with too much of anything and that is never a good situation to be in.

Sun: did not mange to complete the cleaning&greasing job in 2days, a case of the mind is willing but not the body. Job done today with the help of many enjoyable audio books in between the news when the eyes&hands are busy doing other things than just being glued to the screen. 

Like the Lorax
The Lorax speaks for the trees
Books are made out of paper. Paper is made out of trees.
What about e-books?
We can speak for them too.
Audiobooks speak for themselves ―  Paul Acampora

Located in a conserved shophouse on JooChiatRd, SIN Peranakan heritage district, Sinpopo (Local Artisanal Restaurant) heritage menu with a twist, a fusion of  local dishes for the most discerning palates. Have been wanting to try this place ever since it started  into this neighbourhood in 2013 (the same ppl who started&continue to run Awfully Chocolate, also born in Katong in 1998). Will be back to try the other dishes.

NasiLemak set for 2, not quite your traditional NasiLemak but still cooked in the traditional way. The rice infused with pandan and coconut is steamed in a muslin cloth so that the grains of rice are whole and firm. Served with a soft-center egg with their own AssamOnionRelish, IkanBilis Sambal, HarJeongKai Wings (tasty), pork-belly marinated in LamYu (red fermented bean curd), luncheon meat crisps (Ma Ling brand), a side of RojakSlaw and Sambal Fishballs – interesting and tasty combination.

KatongJelly – a favourite from the 1960s brought back, lemonade, agar agar, soda and more. Good&refreshingly tart. PandanKaya Cake – fragrant kaya custard, between blue pea flower-tinged glutinous rice cake layers. PulutHitam Cake – black glutinous rice cake layers paired with coconut cream and gula melaka. Appreciations to Clement for this new taste experience. 

Mon: body, especially the stomach will need to rest after last week’s spring-cleaning and last night’s dinner. Nice cool rainy day to keep the eyes on the screen today! Thank you to Campers’ Corner and to Chris for dropping by with these washable face-mask.

Election Week

9 Jul 2020 – Cleaning&Greasing!

Sun: breakfast on a yummy smoked salmon with avocado&eggs in a pita. With the upcoming General Election/GE on Fri10Jul, this will be the only Sunday+the rest of this week for the campaigners to blast over loud-speakers in their mini-trucks up&down the roads. My thoughts on politics&politicians are reflected by these 2quotes.

The Seven Social Sins are:

Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
Science without humanity.
Worship without sacrifice.
Politics without principle – Frederick Lewis Donaldson/20Mar1923
 
In the present case it is a little inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible to any public office of trust or profit in the Republic. But I do not repine, for I am a subject of it only by force of arms ― HL Mencken
 
Mon: as former SIN PM (1990-2004), ESM Goh ChokTong (79) heads for retirement, it is time to wish him a healthy&safe journey ahead. Moved into the MarineP area in 1999 when I first returned to SIN and have so far no major complains whenever I am back to stay for longer periods. Appreciations to Mr Goh for his care&dedication over the 44yrs.
 
A pix can speak 1,000words, so here are a few more speaking on this election frenzy in the below link where PAP&opposition parties fanned out across the island on walkabouts and door-to-door campaigning to meet residents.
 
 
Tue: nice early morning chat with niece Kelly (Happy Bday to her today) in HI/USA to get her pix&updates for the BG12LAM TinLuen/John, HI/USA branch of the family – her grandmom, auntie Winnie will be 92 next week! Glad to hear that her mom Yvette, cousin Desmond’s widowed wife will be getting married with Elton, Cora (auntie Winnie’s youngest sister) who passed on some years ago. Having known&grew up with both Des&Cora (may they RIP), am sure that they will be giving their full blessings for these 2ppl a chance to find some joy&happiness together. 
Grocery shopping day@Gaint S$29.93 including SeniorDiscount $0.93, PassionCardDiscount $7.44. Fruits for the week@local fruit stall $10.00 (excluding those bought@Giant), breakfast+coffee $6.30, that makes app $50-$70 weekly on grocery for the simple basic foods.
 
Appreciations to Sue for yummy dinner from ImperialTreasure FineTeochewCuisine – BentoA set with the fried rice was delicious,  enough to last me for another meal, will try SetB another time. 
 
Wed&Thu: now is appropriate time to clean&grease all the hinges+joints within the 4-walls – counted app 150hinges including fridge, microwave, toaster, oven&washing-machine. 22cupboards,  3doors, 1gate, 7lamps with joints and 8windows+their 40hinges. Got all the 16windows washed.
 
I hate to be a kicker,
I always long for Peace,
But the wheel that squeaks the loudest,
Is the one that gets the grease – Josh Billings
 
You don’t need to have Asperger’s to feel bewildered in a culture that relies so heavily on inconsequential chit-chat to grease the wheels of day-to-day life – Lynn Coady

American Cuisine

4 Jul 2020 – Happy 4th From SIN

Thu: good time to reflect&review with the cultures&foods of the countries lived in the past 7decades. It is amazing how I do now&then miss a good burger, IrishStew&IrishCoffee and Norwegian fresh fish when back in SIN for a long period. Without food we will not survive and since we have to eat, might as well eat as healthy as possible but also to enjoy what we eat. We eat to live, and living to eat makes a full circle!

Having worked&lived in these countries, Ireland (10yrs), Norway (11yrs), USA (15yrs), today in SIN, but still consider Ireland, Norway&US as my home too.

A House is made of bricks&beams
A Home is not a place – its a feeling
Home for me is where the Heart is no matter where in the World I am


Fri: appreciations to HS&Boon for lovely co&yummy dinner@GuanHoeSoon Restaurant – started in 1953 by Yap CheeKuee@185 Joo Chiat Road, GuanHoeSoon (named after his three sons, KowGuan, KawHoe&KowSoon, is the oldest Peranakan restaurant in SIN and LKYs favourite.

Sat: Happy 4th to all celebrating – pix of 4Jul past, 1988US-CrossCountyDrive, 2005ATthru’Hike, 2013OSL/Norway&2018SC/USA.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness – Martin Luther King Jr.

American Independence Day on 4Jul, a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of USA (1776) as an independent nation which solidified the American colonies’ resolution to fight for their independence from Britain. Memories of L&Js dog Gator who would hide in the corner of the inner bathroom whenever the fireworks started, poor doggie, may she RIP. Hope that Zuno is not so afraid of the fireworks.

American Cuisine – have heard some ppl saying that USA has no culture or cuisine, I totally disagree. Have enjoyed different culture&cuisine from the various states I have lived or visited. Burgers can be tasted in all 50states, my favourite being where I can order as to how I wish the meat to be cooked (medium) and what I want with it (LowCarb, ie no bun) – Fuddruckers when in SC. Too many other foods to mention here (check below link), picking my favourite top3.

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/american-food-dishes/index.html

KeyLimePie (Florida/FL) – the official state pie of Florida, this sassy tart has made herself a worldwide reputation, which started in the FL Keys, from whence come the tiny limes that gave the pie its name. 

SheCrabSoup (SouthCarolina/SC) – a rich creamy soup, made of crab or fish stock&cream, AtlanticBlueCrab meat, and traditionally crab roe, and a small amount of dry sherry added. It may also include such seasonings as shallots or onions – a bowl of this can be a meal for me, so will usually go for a small cup as a starter, even then it is enough for me.

Jambalaya, Cajun&Creole (Louisiana/LA) – the root of the word has many proposed origins: maybe it comes from the Provençal word jambalaia, which meant a mishmash or mixture. Maybe it comes from the Spanish jamon for ham, with paella (a popular Spanish rice dish). 

Pix of Les+his whole family from Devon’s 8Bday last month. Tonight’s dinner@Les&Ivy to celebrate the 4th – a seldom pix of just bro&sis, tkx to Kat. Took me sometime, but finally manage to locate the US flag with the red, white&blue decorations for a mini RedVelvet Cheesecake from Twelve CupCakes to mark the day.

Also found some old B/W pix of Les&I from 1950s&1960s.

Nice to catch up with Kat&family, here dining on delicious roast lamb prepared by Les with a bottle of Cristal champagne, forgot to check the year, but be assure that any Cristal champagne is good and 1994 Chateau Mouton Rothschild – in wine paradise every time I get wines here. For me this is the life, family, good friends, delicious food accompany with wines like these.

A successful gift from JaniceWong, edible chocolate crayons+rice paper – have always wanted to write my own secret message and eat it up. Devon&Eliot have grown and will soon think these kind of gifts are cheesy, but for now, this moment just hit the spot. 

If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself ― George Orwell

Diversity Of Foods

1 Jul 2020 – SIN – A Food Paradise 

People’s Action Party flags seen at Marine Terrace on June 27, 2020. A total of ten flags were seen in the vicinity on Saturday. Photo: Nuria Ling/TODAY

Mon: what do I see this morning but this large pix of my back!!! Had no idea that this was taken of me taking this pix yesterday, appreciations to Leonard for sharing. 

https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/not-campaign-period-yet-so-laws-display-party-flags-ge-dont-apply-eld?fbclid=IwAR1RAaflbdaErfEGdqCVobXDOmUH_9aIQpsGkFrEJ1tz-tfwbyfRHDIMF8A

Only in SIN can you eat decent&good world-wide ethnic foods on an area of 721.5Km²(279.6SqMi ) island – Chinese (8different cuisine), Eurasian, EasternEU, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Mexician, MiddleEasten, Peranakan, Russian, Thailand, Vietnamese, Western. 

Where Chinese cuisine is concerned, it is so diverse that even I have not tasted all the 8regions. Living with grandparents&parents from Kwangchow 廣州 region for the first 15yrs of this life, thus Cantonese food was my staple diet then. Most overseas Chinese eateries are based from this region – DimSum being the easiest for most taste-buds around the world, something I know that I can introduce to all my oversea visitors and they will like it.
https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-food/eight-cuisine.htm

Have asked the younger ppl here what they considered is the real SIN-dish that all from or living in SIN know off – Chicken Rice, followed by BaKutTeh  肉骨茶 which translates from the Hokkien dialect to MeatBoneTea, and like many foods, the variety and the taste can be slightly different depending on what one is used to or like.

Peranakan/Nyonya Cuisine (uniquely SIN) – descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled around this area combining their foods from the Chinese, Malay, Javanese and other influences, which can be tasted only around this part of the world – Popiah (SpringRolls, not deep-fried) being my favourite.

https://cnaluxury.channelnewsasia.com/experiences/is-culinary-cultural-appropriation-a-thing-in-singapore-12869162?fbclid=IwAR0uuevV4417gWycEx9MaNtfdIxrDmuYj2L69bexTbU_Wgd7XKRQ8q-kZBI

Malaysian Cuisine – where all of their dishes are Halal with some of their dishes intertwine with the Peranakans, but with differences. Satay is another dish that most oversea visitors like. 

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/malaysian-food/index.html

Thai Cuisine – their dessert buffet@ThanyingRestaurant/Amara Hotel is as colourful&tasty as it looks. Do enjoy the TomYum soups, as long as it is not too spicy. OliveFriedRice and GreenCurry with BabyEggPlant (look like green-peas, a must for me!).

https://www.thespruceeats.com/thai-food-and-culture-3217393#:~:text=A%20typical%20Thai%20meal%20includes,noodle%20dish%2C%20and%20possibly%20soup.

Vietnamese Cuisine – favourties being Pho with plenty of fresh basil and GoiCuon (RicePaper Shrimp Rolls) preference is with Nước chấm (FishSauce), not the peanut, but with plenty of fresh basil again. This must be the most healthy diet from all my favourites, not oily and nothing fried.

https://www.itourvn.com/blog/diverse-vietnam-food-culture

Let’s eat what we enjoy, cook the food of other cultures and share them as widely as possible. The only pre-requisite for said enjoyment is respect, and to learn from our differences.

Tue: body is still struggling to adjust without a gallbladder. Grocery Senior%Day (today’s saving 0.60c) – with a cuppa first as it will take the whole morning to wash&package the fruits& fresh produce after purchase to last thru’ the week. A small packet of Calamanis, and a teasp is enough for a dish to enhance some of the local foods to my taste. Bye-bye Jun, amazing how half a year has passed up. The above 3pix+ThanyingRestaurant are the only ones from me in this posting, most are all downloaded. Have not had much opportunity to wander around to take pix, and also it is soon time for a new camera!

Wed: HKG Special Administrative Region EstablishmentDay. Establishment Day, formally the HKG Special Administrative Region Establishment Day (Chinese: 香港特別行政區成立紀念日), is celebrated annually on 1Jul in HKG China since 1997. With today’s situation, do wonder about what the future will be for this One country, Two system???

While here in SIN, the battle now begins today as we head into General Election campaigning post NominationDay. All 93seats to be contested 10Jul2020 election; 192candidates from 11parties file papers on NominationDay.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/ge2020-singapore-general-election-pap-wp-psp-sdp-vote-grc-smc-12886382

Hello Jul – 6months without any travel, and so far have survived thru’ COVID-19, CB, 2traumatic hospital stays. A day of errands@PlazaSIN to ArtFriend, ColdStorage, Daiso, Spotlight, all conveniently located under one roof with the bus-stop (only bus stop I know of with AC units!) directly outside and DhobyGhautMRTstation in the basement. 

The mood for a small bowl of Vietnamese beef Pho hit the spot@NamNam/PlazaSIN. They were out of the Prawn RicePaper Rolls, so an ice-cream cone from McD for dessert ended a perfect evening. Appreciations to Clement for company&dinner.

4 Jul – Happy 4th
14 Jul – Happy Bday Keith and Happy Bastille Day/France
17 Jul – Happy Bday Nancy Bowman
19 Jul – Happy 22nd Anniversary Linn&Jeff
20 Jul – Happy Bday David Yeoh
21 Jul – Happy Bday Albert Chua
22 Jun – Happy Anniversary Dike&Mark
23 Jun – Happy Bdays Lucas&James